Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. honors WWII veterans, says Philippines can look to future with confidence

2023 April 10

FOREVER GRATEFUL. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. offers a salute to World War II veterans during the 81st Araw ng Kagitingan commemoration at Mount Samat National Shrine in Pilar, Bataan on Monday (April 10, 2023). In his speech, he acknowledged all individual acts of valor and of sacrifice and Filipinos’ deep love for the country and freedom.

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. honored Monday the country’s World War II (WWII) heroes, asking Filipinos to have faith and look to the future with confidence, as they face everyday challenges.

Speaking during the commemoration of the 81st Araw ng Kagitingan at Mount Samat National Shrine in Pilar, Bataan, Marcos said the Filipino nobility of spirit was once again demonstrated in the last worldwide crisis, where the nation’s men and women rose to the challenge of facing an unseen enemy — a new global challenge.

“Once again, Filipinos showed the world our purity of spirit and of compassion by willingly putting themselves in peril in the service of others,” the President said.

So have faith. We can look to the future with confidence, guided with the knowledge that the most noble Filipino quality of heroism is aflame and burns brightly in every true Filipino.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr

Marcos expressed his gratitude to Filipino heroes “who fought and bled and died” in Bataan, saying they have shown the way how to make the best citizens of the Republic.

That heroism, Marcos said, can be seen in Filipino war veterans who have passed on the shining legacy and treasure as well as in the eyes of every child who looks to the future with hope and eager anticipation.

As every Filipino toils and sacrifices to feed their families, help their communities and serve their country, the President called on the nation to celebrate these golden deeds that uphold the spirit of patriotism.

“We celebrate all the individual acts of valor and of sacrifice. We celebrate the Filipino spirit. We celebrate our countrymen’s deep, abiding love of every Filipino: love for our land, love for our people, and love for our freedom,” the President said.

“We have been called upon to stay true to that tradition, that tradition that Filipinos have demonstrated throughout our history. And so it is today that the spirit of heroism is once again asked of us by our country.”

The President said these may not be grand acts displayed in the battlefield, but in the everyday challenges that Filipinos must face to defend themselves, the people and the country.

In accordance with Proclamation No. 466, series of 1989, the country celebrates Philippine Veterans Week from April 5 to 11 of every year to promote, preserve and memorialize the principles, ideas and deeds of the war veterans as a means to enhance patriotism and love of country, especially among the Filipino youth.

Executive Order No. 203, series of 1987, designated April 9 of every year as Araw ng Kagitingan while Proclamation No. 90, series of 2022, signed by Marcos, moved the celebration of Araw ng Kagitingan this year to April 10.

This year’s theme is “Kagitingan ng mga Beterano, Pundasyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino” (Veterans’ Bravery, Foundation of a United Citizenry).